The Peace Corps has accepted the College of Staten Island into its select group of Prep Schools. The program at CSI will launch on February 15, 2022.
Stephen Ferst, Executive Director of CSI’s Center for Global Engagement, which will oversee the program, explains, “As a Peace Corps Prep School, CSI will create and manage a program that prepares students for careers in the Peace Corps. In addition, CSI will develop a set of learning goals that focus on ‘the four core competencies that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork Peace Corps Volunteers do:
· Sector-specific skills
· Foreign language proficiency
· Intercultural competence
· Professional savvy and leadership’”
Students who enter the program will build these four competencies through courses and hands-on experience. Mentors and advisors will also assist them in the development of their intercultural competence and leadership skills. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Peace Corps and a Certificate of Intercultural Competence from CSI.
Noting its significance for participants, Ferst says, “Developing the Peace Corps Prep program is an important component of ensuring our students are global citizens prepared to tackle the challenges of a diverse and ever-increasingly interconnected world. Students who complete the Peace Corps Prep program will not only have a competitive advantage in pursuing a career in the Peace Corps but they will have gained invaluable intercultural skills that will serve them well in the future should they follow their dreams into business, the arts, technology, science, and beyond.”
Lehman College is the only other CUNY school in the program and there are only three other schools in New York State: SUNY Albany, SUNY Stony Brook, and Hartwick College. Nationwide, there are only 174 Peace Prep Schools.
By Terry Mares